Covid 19 lockdown contains a new cluster of cases, nearly seven million people in Victoria will be forced to stay at home for a week. On Thursday night, nearly seven million people in Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, will go on Covid-19 lockdown as officials blame a sluggish vaccine rollout and hotel quarantine failures for a new virus outbreak that has doubled to 26 cases overnight.
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Acting Premier James Merlino of Victoria told reporters in Melbourne that people will only be allowed to leave their homes after 11:59 p.m. (13:59 GMT) for essential work, healthcare, grocery shopping, or exercise.
For the next seven days, the order will be in effect.
We’ve seen more evidence in the last day that we’re dealing with a highly infectious strain of the virus, a variant of concern, that’s spreading faster than we’ve ever seen before, Merlino said.
B1617 is the strain’s name, and it was first discovered in India.
Following the first new cases, authorities tightened restrictions on domestic and public gatherings and made masks mandatory. Contact tracers have identified 10,000 primary and secondary contacts who will need to be quarantined, tested, and self-isolated so far, but Merlino expects that number to grow.
According to experts, the covid 19 lockdowns is intended to give the team the time they need to track down contacts while also preventing the virus from spreading further. Catherine Bennett, chair in epidemiology at Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation in Melbourne, told Al Jazeera that contact tracing is crucial, and Covid-19 lockdowns are meant to give that team a fighting chance.
They are really efficient at this location. We have a fantastic system in place. Not only going to contacts of known instances but also going to their contacts, is something I’ve always advocated for. We’re taking the next step with this outbreak.
If one person is recognized as a case, they will test and quarantine all of their household members before moving on to their close connections and their close connections. They’re putting everything they’ve got into it.
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The new lockdown, according to state officials, was caused in part by the federal government’s slow vaccine deployment. We might be facing a totally different set of circumstances now if more people were immunized. But, alas, we aren’t, according to Merlino.
Melbourne has been placed under lockdown for the fourth time since the outbreak began
Last year, Australia’s second-largest city saw the country’s worst COVID-19 outbreak, which was only brought under control after nearly four months of stringent restrictions on daily living.
Thousands of individuals have already begun to isolate themselves across the city after positive cases were discovered at dozens of sites, including two distinct Aussie Rules football events, a succession of nightclubs, and a medieval battle re-enactment.
After closing its borders and implementing tight quarantines on those who are allowed to return, Australia had largely contained COVID-19, and residents had few limitations.
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However, its immunization program has fallen short of expectations, leaving the country vulnerable to epidemics, according to critics. According to the federal opposition Labor Party, the virus has leaked from hotel quarantine facilities 17 times in the last six months, and the conservative administration has refused to modernize the system.
We would not be here today if we had an alternative to hotel isolation for this particular type of worry, Merlino said.
In a population of 25 million people, some 3.7 million immunization shots have been given out so far, and the government has promised that more batches would be shipped to Victoria in the following weeks.
Vaccines are failed to be supplied to around 30 aged care homes in the state, according to public broadcaster ABC, despite hundreds of people dying when the virus swept through the facilities last year. COVID-19 has caused roughly 30,000 illnesses and fewer than 1,000 deaths in Australia, with the great majority occurring in Victoria during the second wave last year.